Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Public Relations

Xitsonga Dictionary wins best educational app for 2020


Educational apps are changing the future of classrooms. The Best Educational Solution, awarded at last week’s MTN Business App of the Year awards, goes to an app that best breaks through the barriers to learning, a solution that focuses on solving the education challenges in Africa.

The 2020 Fundi Best Educational App winner is Xitsonga Dictionary, an app developed by Mukondleteri Dumela from Kraaifontein in Cape Town that provides users with thousands of words translated from Xitsonga to English. Designed to help learn in a fun and intuitive way, users are able to simply take a picture using the Xitsonga vision feature to find out what the word is in Xitsonga. This app also includes a function to access Xitsonga proverbs and idioms, sharing with users the wisdom of the Vatsonga people.

Dumela says that he developed this app purely to make it easy for people to learn the Xitsonga language. It took him 4 months to build the app, with many of the initial features already available on the Xitsonga.org website.

Category sponsor of Best Education Solution once again this year is Fundi, South Africa’s leading education finance and education fund management solution specialist. Fundi aims to empower students of all ages with the funding, resources, tools and knowledge they need to succeed in their chosen vocation, assisting with access to the ever-expanding world of unlimited education learning possibilities.

“At Fundi, we’ve always believed that education is the key to unlocking true value for our people and our country. As a result, we will always support innovators who share our purpose by developing technologies that create unique educational experiences for South Africans and grow access to educational tools for all,” says Khaya Mncwango, Marketing Manager at Fundi.

Having grown up on in Nyavani Village, Malamulele in Limpopo, Dumela first learnt to use a computer when we went to the University of Pretoria to study a Bachelor of Information Science in Multimedia.

“It’s overwhelming to receive an award of this magnitude. The fact that our hard work on digitizing Xitsonga has been recognized and is being celebrated instils confidence in our team to continue our work. It’s a truly remarkable moment for our team and Vatsonga as whole. Ndzi ri avuxeni Afrika Dzonga,” he says about his win.\While Dumela is the founder and developer of Xitsonga.org, his team also consists of Hlulani Baloyi (Product Manager), Hlawuleka Maswanganyi (Lead Developer), Ntshuxeko Ndhlovu (Editor in Chief), Akani Maluleke (Social Media) and Irvin Maceke (Intern Developer).

“In the coming year we want to scale up the platform to include more African languages,
he says.

The annual MTN Business App of the Year Awards, which took place virtually for the first time, celebrates the very best of South Africa’s app development talent. This year saw an unprecedented 726 entries into these awards, 75 of which were apps submitted for Best Educational Solution.

This year saw MTN Business further their efforts in championing app development in South Africa by adding two new platforms, namely the inaugural MTN Business App Academy, a six-week virtual coding programme, as well as the first ever 72-hour MTN Business Hackathon. 84 solutions developed during the hackathon were also entered into this year’s MTN Business App of the Year Awards

These awards play a vital role in elevating local entrepreneurs and showcasing exciting new innovations within the ICT industry in South Africa, providing a platform that celebrates local talent, rewards out-of-the-box thinking and enables new technology start-ups to build innovative applications

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